What is Saint Joan of Arc's importance today in France?

Statue by Princess Jeanne of Orleans

I have traveled extensively through out Saint Joan's France several times and have asked this same question to the people that I have met there. Their answer is always the same: The fact that she is a Saint is NOT as important to them as that she IS their National Heroine. They love her because she gave herself totally for love of her people and the freedom of their country. I guess I can best equate it to how we feel about George Washington, but of course he did not die for his country as Saint Joan did.

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